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The Van Gogh-like 2 (vangl2) gene is typically associated with planar cell polarity pathways, which is essential for correct orientation of epithelial cells during development. The encoded protein of this gene is a transmembrane protein and is highly conserved through evolution. Van Gogh-like 2 was selected for further study on the basis of consistent regulation after a nociceptive stimulus in adult common carp and rainbow trout in a microarray study. An in situ hybridisation was conducted in the brain of mature common carp (Cyprinus carpio), 1.5 and 3 h after a nociceptive stimulus comprising of an acetic acid injection to the lips of the fish and compared with a saline-injected control. The vangl2 gene was expressed in all brain regions, and particularly intensely in neurons of the telencephalon and in ependymal cells. In the cerebellum, a greater number (P = 0.018) of Purkinje cells expressed vangl2 after nociception (n=7) compared with controls (n = 5). This regulation opens the possibility that vangl2 is involved in nociceptive processing in the adult fish brain and may be a novel target for central nociception in vertebrates.


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